(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Friday, June 4, 2010

CD review - Beatallica, Masterful Mystery Tour (2009)

Better late than never. Somehow, I missed the first album from Beatallica, Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band. Fortunately, I recently crossed paths with their latest release, Masterful Mystery Tour.

Beatallica lies somewhere between the straight-on mash ups of the Kleptones (Down on Bennies from 24) and the humorous genre blending of Dread Zepplin (Immigrant Song). They perform original mashups that mix Beatles melodic elements with a Metallica musical approach, while the lyrics come from both bands. The cover of Masterful Mystery Tour references Master of Puppets and Magical Mystery Tour.

It's campy fun, but it's also good music. Maybe the joke is wearing thin for everyone who's already heard it too often, but Masterful Mystery Tour has some brilliant moments. The opening notes of Everybody's Got a Ticket to Ride Except For Me and My Lightning echo Metallica's Ride the Lightning before sliding into a reworking of the Beatles' Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey. Later, the melody slides over into Ticket to Ride, while the lyrics refer to Ride the Lightning. It's an odd combo, but it still rocks.

Throughout Masterful Mystery Tour, the energy is high. Beatallica captures a lot of the Metallica sound, from James Hetfield's vocal style to Lars Ulrich's frantic kick drum work.

The Thing That Should Not Let It Be starts off with a riff similar to Metallica's One (thanks, Eric for pointing that out) before sliding into the music from Let It Be. Lyrically, it works through chunks of The Thing That Should Not Be, which mesh nicely from the opening lines:
When I find myself in tidal trouble
Hybrid children come for me
Pray for father roaming, roaming free

A final favorite track is I Want to Choke Your Band, which sets an anti-glam metal manifesto to the tune of I Want to Hold Your Hand. With this, Beatallica steps more firmly into parody music, but it's all pretty entertaining.

This isn't the greatest album of 2009, but despite being a one-joke concept, it holds up to repeated listenings. I'll raise a glass of Duvel, a deceptively strong Belgian golden ale. The name even fits ("devil").

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